"For we are God’s Masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." (Ephesians 2:10)
“Go back to Denver!” an adolescent voice yelled out of a loud pick-up truck as he drove past an Evergreen trailhead congested with cars. His voice was an angry reflection of the sentiment many residents in the area were feeling about the congestion and influx of out-of-town hikers over the years.
“Get...OUTTA Colorado!” a bumper sticker on a Subaru parked on a quiet mountain road shouted to anyone with eyes to read it and ears to hear it. The owner grumbled daily about how many people had moved to Colorado, abusing the natural resources and taking his water.
Meanwhile, across town, 80 folks gathered at Aspen Ridge Church believing in a radically different definition of “Get Out.”
It was August 4, 2018, the day of a highly-anticipated churchwide service project called, “Get Out.” Gen Z, Millennials, Gen-Xers, Boomers and elders all gathered for a quick donut (or two), coffee and some inspirational words before they would get out to serve the community they call home.
“Get out” could be read on the back of their handsome blue and green shirts as the Aspen Ridge company laughed, planned, prayed and prepared themselves for the day's work ahead. Weeding, painting, sweeping, watering and much more were in store. They walked, ran and skipped out of the four walls of the building they call home.
“Let’s get the meat out and start cooking!” declared the happy head of the cook team as he prepared to cook sloppy joes and fix lunch for 80 workers, plus community invites, who would return hungry a half day later.
“Why don’t we get out some toys to play with these sweet baby blessings!?” a nursery volunteer asked sensing tears around the corner now that Mom rounded the one down the hall.
“Get out!” a lady grunted at a thistle as she pulled it out, roots and all, by a bridge at Evergreen lake. A trickle of bright red blood rolled down her wrist as a prickle pierced her glove for one last sting before being uprooted for good.
“Would you like a water?” asked a smiling lady to a passing walker as she got one out from a cooler filled with many more. An unsure hand extended out and grabbed the water wondering what was expected in return. A warm smile and encouraging word were all that followed. The water could not be bought or earned.
“Thanks for getting out and helping our community!” many people said to the blue-shirted crew working at downtown Evergreen. “Our pleasure!” came the happy responses.
Some Uganda travelers were lost in Evergreen. Seeing friendly faces in blue shirts at the Marshdale fields, they decided to pull in and ask for help. “Let’s go!” encouraged a Ridger happy to personally lead them by car to their destination. “Get out, that’s awesome!” a man thought as he heard the story of the lost Uganda visitors who found their way. A bite of sloppy joe rejoiced in his mouth as he grinned ear to ear.
“Way to be the hands and feet of Jesus!” a beaming and thoroughly exhausted Dad said as he hugged his hard-working sons after a half day’s work in the hot sun. “Today we got out and did the good things God planned for us long ago.”